University of Colorado Boulder
Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and Molecular Layer Deposition (MLD) can be effectively used to deposit custom-designed, multi-material layers with atomic resolution on any micro- or nano-scale device surface. The nano-scale ALD/MLD coating can protect the devices from electrical short, charge accumulation, moisture-induced adhesion, wear, corrosion, creep, fatigue and anodic oxidation during short-term prototyping or long-term product life. The nano- and micro-electro-mechanical systems (N/MEMS) community has been looking for effective antistiction and environmental protections coatings for many years. ALD/MLD films for MEMS achieve these goals similar to what CVD Si3N4 has been for CMOS. As devices further shrink toward nano-scale, ALD-based processes offer a new strategy for depositing conformal and precise films that may have important applications as a novel dielectric, a sacrificial layer for gap control in nanofabrication, or as a structural layer for NEMS. ALD relies on sequential, self-limiting surface reactions to deposit ultra thin, conformal films with the following characteristics: ALD film thicknesses can be precisely deposited from a few angstroms to hundreds of nanometers; ALD films can be deposited at low temperatures compatible with CMOS; ALD films are pinhole-free, dense, smooth and highly conformal; ALD films can be deposited on silicon, polysilicon, silicon nitride, metals, polymers, and ceramics; ALD can coat high surface area to volume ratio structures with complex geometries; ALD can deposit dielectric or conductive layers; ALD can deposit hydrophobic or hydrophilic layers covalently bonded to the surface; ALD films can be micromachined to create nano-scale gaps and free standing structures. The ALD techniques for N/MEMS, pioneered at the University of Colorado Boulder, represent breakthrough in nano-scale processes that can be used to fabricate custom-designed, multi-material layers with atomic resolution. The ALD processes developed are proven, mature, and are available to serve the N/MEMS community.
Victor M. Bright is the Alvah and Harriet Hovlid Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and the Faculty Director for Discovery Learning, College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Colorado Boulder. From 2005 through 2007, he served as the Associate Dean for Research. Prior to joining the University of Colorado, he was a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio (1992-1997). During 2004 he was a Visiting Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH-Zurich), Switzerland. Prof. Bright's research activities include N/MEMS, atomic-layer deposited materials, N/MEMS reliability and packaging. Dr. Bright has served as the General Co-Chair for the IEEE MEMS 2005 International Conference. He is the Americas Technical Chair for Transducers 2013 and the General Technical Chair for Transducers 2015 International Conferences. Prof. Bright is a Fellow of ASME and a Senior Member of IEEE.